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Developing World-Class Customer Service

Babel’s “Developing World-Class Customer Service” is a course that identifies opportunities to excel with overseas visitors by offering practical techniques for handling foreign customers, methods to demonstrate empathy and build rapport and the confidence to deal positively with challenging situations.

Course Objectives

  • To improve the interaction between selling staff/hosts and their overseas customers through a raised level of cultural awareness and sensitivity.
  • Enable selling staff/hosts to avoid potentially awkward or embarrassing cultural faux pas.
  • Understand how to modify one’s behaviour to create a positive impression and avoid giving unintentional offence.
  • Use a range of techniques for effective communication.

Course Content

  • Introduction to Culture
  • Stereotypes and Generalisations

Cultural Values – An Overview:  (For the countries/regions under discussion). 

For each culture:

  • Naming conventions and titles
  • Meeting and greeting
  • Hierarchy and status
  • Gender and family issues
  • Attitudes to time
  • The importance of relationships and trust
  • Symbolism, taboos, etiquette

Service expectations

  • The importance of formality, courtesy, hospitality and respect
  • The importance of your physical appearance and dress code


  • Level of directness and context
  • Tone of voice
  • Speaking and listening
  • Using and interpreting - Yes, no, silence
  • The importance of face
  • How to say no
  • How to apologise
  • Good topics of conversation
  • Conversation taboos
  • Social, political and everyday taboos for each culture

International English

What kind of language is appropriate for your overseas customer? What examples and anecdotes, similes and analogies will they appreciate and remember? How can you KISS (Keep It Short and Simple)? When speaking with an overseas visitor, how do you make sure you are using International English to help your customer understand you without difficulty?

International Body Language and other Non-Verbal Communication

How do you make your arms and hands, eyes and head work for you and not against you?

Optional Module:  Ramadan

  • Islam – the basics
  • Accommodating prayer times and praying - Mecca direction, timings, prayer rugs, ablutions
  • Ramadan – the basics
  • What you can expect from guests during Ramadan
  • What you can do for your guests

Case Studies:  What would you do?

A series of scenarios will be developed that present a cultural challenge for each of the targeted cultures.  The participants will be asked to work in pairs to define what went wrong, why and how it could have been handled better.

“I’ve gained a better understanding to some cultural differences.  I definitely suggest colleagues go on it so they have an understanding, it’s often classed as ‘rude’ but it’s merely a misunderstanding.”
"Good to have training related to our role.”  St George

“Everything I was coming to learn and more.”
 “Excellent interactive, informative course.”  St James

To find out more please contact Sue Curry, MD on 020 8295 5877, alternatively email